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Aneesh Kumar

Dialogue scene

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Hello everyone!

 

I got a script for a short where there are two characters engaged in a dialogue. I cannot reveal the second character until the end of the film (she is an acid attack victim which we do not reveal till the end)

 

The director is suggesting OTS, Top angle and POV. So basically shot, no reverse shot. But I'm concerned how they are going to intercut and also how I'm gonna keep it visually engaging if I can't cut back to the reverse.

 

Time of day is mid day/afternoon so can't really play with shadows.

 

It's a 6 minuter and we reveal character 2's face at around the 5 min mark.

 

I have suggested maybe showing a side of her face which is not affected.

 

Any other ideas??

 

 

 

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Hello Aneesh,

 

I could think of close-up shots on her hands or legs (e.g. crosses legs - if asit)
or the feet / shoes as she changes position.
You might use her reflection (in a glass or window) or her shadow.

 

The first part (with her "off") shows how others react to her,

detail shots as described above might show us her reactions to them.

 

Best.

Phil

Edited by Phil Soheili
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Take it exactly the same you would a regular convo shot, where one character is aligned to the right third, the other to the left.

 

Shoot the normal character aligned to side A.

Shoot the freaky face aligned to side B, but instead of focusing on the face make it other stuff like neck, arms, chest, the coffee they're stirring, etc.

 

So it isn't super weird/claustrophobic, make sure to have an establishing shot which is blocked to obscure freaky face girl.

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Tell us about the scene. What is being discussed? How is it being discussed?

 

Is it just her face that's messed up? Or is her entire body afflicted?

 

You could circle the pair, hiding her face with the sun and the back of the other characters head alternately. If the back of her head/body isn't key to the final reveal, then you could cross behind her, and shoot the other fellow OTS.

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If we're just spitballin' let me throw my 2 cents in here..

Go James Bond "villain" about it. Idk if that makes any sense but I feel like in some of their early movies (hell maybe it was Austin Powers) they would pick an object or something early on (was it a cat?) that the villain would be represented by to avoid showing the character early on in the movie.

 

Maybe this is an opportunity where you can have the person represented by a object they are interacting with that can also help convey their reactions or mood (stirring coffee, fiddling with sugar packets, etc as mentioned above). Another option might be to visually obstruct the character until the end.. shooting their speaking role through a textured window, or focused on items in the fore ground.

 

Good luck!

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If we're just spitballin' let me throw my 2 cents in here..

 

Go James Bond "villain" about it. Idk if that makes any sense but I feel like in some of their early movies (hell maybe it was Austin Powers) they would pick an object or something early on (was it a cat?) that the villain would be represented by to avoid showing the character early on in the movie.

 

Maybe this is an opportunity where you can have the person represented by a object they are interacting with that can also help convey their reactions or mood (stirring coffee, fiddling with sugar packets, etc as mentioned above). Another option might be to visually obstruct the character until the end.. shooting their speaking role through a textured window, or focused on items in the fore ground.

 

Good luck!

 

Dr. Evil is based on Ernst Stavro Blofeld head of SPECTRE in the Bond films. Starting with From Russia With Love, he's only seen partially.

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I happened to have watched Thunderball (1965) a couple nights ago and I think that's where Dr evil came from. You Only Live Twice (1967) is when Blofeld appeared. From Russia With Love was several years earlier.

Googled... not off top of my head :)

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^^These guys get it. Thanksgiving Bond marathon amirightttt?!

 

Whatever you choose to focus on instead of the actors face, make sure it can still emote some sort of reaction or emotion to act as a proper proxy.

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This sounds like a discussion you should be having with the director; who in the end, is the one to put their name on the scene especially in terms of the edit.

And no matter what time of day you can almost always play with shadows in one form or the other.

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Hmmm. I don't like the idea of cutting to details. It will seem like a "trick" or manipulation to the audience. A cheap shot.

 

Shooting the scene in two matching profiles might be ok if it hides the scars on the effected actor. You can even get a two shot.

 

But maybe think about making this a "oner" without any cuts. Play the entire scene in the over the shoulder. If it is well written and acted this can work. If it's not, then... maybe the movie won't work anyways. You can even make this a dolly in shot, over the shoulder if it fits the scene. (or maybe dolly out?)

 

Of course this is all for discussion with the director, who is the author of this film.

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